Children’s Health Care Spending: 2010-2013 presents the most up-to-date information on health care spending trends for privately insured children under age 19. It is based on fee-for-service claims for 10.2 million children per year who were covered by employer-sponsored insurance.
Children’s Health Spending: 2010–2013shows that spending on healthcare for children (ages 0-18) covered by employer-sponsored insurance grew an average of 5.7% per year. The increase in spending in 2013 occurred despite a drop in the use of prescription drugs and visits to the emergency room, demonstrating that rising health care prices were an evident driver behind the spending increase in that year.
Key Findings from this Report
- Per capita spending for children reached $2,574 by 2013, a $391 increase from 2010.
- Per capita spending for children (ages 0-18) was higher for boys than girls. However, when children reached their teens (ages 14-18), spending for health care for girls was higher: $2,834 compared to $2,661 for boys.
- The average price of an inpatient admission for a child increased by $744 in one year, hitting $14,685 in 2013.
- There were fewer emergency room visits in 2013 for all age-gender groups of children; the biggest decline was for teenage boys (a decline of 11 per 1,000 teen boys) and pre-teen boys ages 9-13 (a decline of 8 visits per 1,000 pre-teen boys).
- There was a continued shift from the use of branded drugs to generics, and spending on children’s prescriptions grew more slowly in 2013 than previous years.
- Hospital admissions for labor and delivery declined among teen girls, while mental health and substance use admissions grew.